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Prioritized area mapping for multiple stakeholders through geospatial modelling: A focus on marine plastics pollution in Hong Kong

Coleby, Alastor M., Grist, Eric P.M.
Ocean & coastal management 2019 v.171 pp. 131-141
coastal zone management, geostatistics, governance, models, planning, plastics, pollution, shipping, socioeconomics, stakeholders, uncertainty, wastes, China
Sources of plastics pollution, transport and deposition in Hong Kong are all subject to uncertainty and this characteristic must be mapped if stakeholders are to be made aware of their need for greater involvement in ongoing marine spatial planning and management. We employ geostatistical interpolation as the mapping approach, to enable a wider scale assessment of the spatial distribution of three quantities of interest, denoted by plastics waste, ports shipping intensity and a notional measure we refer to as ecological insecurity to be determined. We generate map layer representations for each of these variables to concentrate the focus of a stakeholder onto their regions of most concern and employ associated uncertainty maps to highlight prioritized regions identified to be above a designated level of certainty. We refer to the resulting map as a Prioritized Area Map (PAM). The PAM approach to characterize marine plastics waste links otherwise disparate stakeholders to ecosystem-based-management, thereby balancing ecological, socio-economic and governance principles across temporal and spatial scales. The PAM approach serves as a generic scoping tool to help assess any marine spatial planning problem.